F1 2014 Primer: The Changes

1 Comment

In the final part of MotorSportsTalk’s preview of the 2014 Formula 1 season, we take a look at the changes that have occurred over the winter. The sport is a very different place to where we left off in Brazil last November, with new cars, new engines, new rules and even a few new drivers.

SPORTING CHANGES

  • Official in-season testing returns in 2014, replacing the young driver tests. Three-day events will be held following races in Bahrain, Spain, Great Britain and Abu Dhabi.
  • As part of an altered penalty system, drivers now pick up ‘points’ on their superlicence, and must not exceed 12 at any one time, or they will be banned for a race. Stewards can now apply a five second penalty in races.
  • Grid drops can now carry over for one event, meaning that if a driver is demoted ten places but can only serve five, they will be demoted another five places at the next event. It can only be carried over once though.
  • Drivers are restricted to five engines to use throughout the season, but parts are interchangeable and liable to their own quota.
  • Drivers now have permanent numbers which they will use throughout their careers. You can see them here.
  • A trophy will be awarded to the driver who scores the most pole positions in 2014.
  • Double points will be awarded at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi. The winner receives 50 points (instead of 25), second place receives 36 points (instead of 18) and so on.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

  • V8 engines have been replaced by turbocharged V6s, limited to 15,000rpm. This now is part of a “power unit” that also features two forms of Energy Recovery Systems (ERS). ERS replaces KERS, meaning drivers can no longer press a button for a boost. The power units will generate a greater amount of torque.
  • Drivers are limited to 100kg of fuel within a race, a reduction from the unrestricted figure of 150kg most used last year. This will create plenty of fuel saving and lots of retirements due to over-thirsty engines.
  • The exhaust must now be placed above the rear crash structure of the car, whilst beam wings have been banned, both creating a reduction in rear downforce (i.e. less grip).
  • Front wings are 150mm narrower, with teams taking 75mm from either side of the wing on their cars.
  • The centre tip of the nose must be 185mm above the ground, down from a height of 550mm. This is the regulation that has created the ugly noses on display this season. Although it was designed to reduce the likelihood of the nose entering the cockpit, it is thought that a change to this regulation will be made for 2015.

DRIVER CHANGES

Team change

  • Daniel Ricciardo – Toro Rosso to Red Bull
  • Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus to Ferrari
  • Pastor Maldonado – Williams to Lotus
  • Nico Hulkenberg – Sauber to Force India
  • Sergio Perez – McLaren to Force India
  • Adrian Sutil – Force India to Sauber
  • Felipe Massa – Ferrari to Williams

Entering Formula 1

  • Kevin Magnussen – McLaren (from Formula Renault 3.5 in 2013)
  • Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso (from GP3 in 2013)
  • Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham (from WEC in 2013)
  • Marcus Ericsson – Caterham (from GP2 in 2013)

Leaving Formula 1 (full-time)

  • Mark Webber – Red Bull to Porsche’s LMP1 programme in the WEC
  • Heikki Kovalainen – Caterham/Lotus to ???
  • Paul di Resta – Force India to Mercedes in DTM
  • Charles Pic – Caterham to Lotus reserve driver
  • Giedo van der Garde – Caterham to Sauber reserve driver

 

More of MotorSportsTalk’s 2014 F1 season preview
F1 2014 Primer: The Drivers
F1 2014 Primer: The Tracks
F1 2014 Primer: The Teams
5 storylines that could define the 2014 F1 season

Helio Castroneves: ‘I have nothing to lose’ Sunday in bid for 4th Indy 500 win

All photos: IndyCar
Leave a comment

You might say Helio Castroneves comes into Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 with a “less is more” philosophy than he’s had in years past:

* No pressure

* No worrying about points

* No worrying about winning a championship

Take away all those things and the very popular Brazilian driver could be in the best position he’s ever been to achieve the biggest goal of his career:

Winning a fourth Indy 500, making him a member of motor racing’s most exclusive club, joining legendary drivers A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears as the only drivers to conquer the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway four times each.

Like his car number, Castroneves has won the Indy 500 three times. He wants to change that number to four times in Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing. Photo: IndyCar.

“For sure, I definitely don’t have much to lose in terms of points, championships, and things like that,” Castroneves told MotorSportsTalk earlier this week. “I don’t have to think that I don’t have a car to win, I’m not going to risk that much because there are still championship points (to earn if he was still racing full-time in the series).

“Not that I did that before, but if the situation occurs, people just need to know I have nothing to lose this time.”

Castroneves three prior triumphs in the 500 came in his first two years in the field – 2001 and 2002 – and again in 2009. In addition, he has finished twice in the last four editions of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing in 2014 and 2017.

Coming so close last year, losing to Takuma Sato by .201 of a second, is something Castroneves hasn’t forgotten about. To come so close to No. 4 has only made him more hungry to get it done on Sunday.

“Yeah, but if it were easy, we would likely have had more than four wins by now,” he said. “We’ve had opportunities in the past, the last four years we were really competitive, we were right there, especially in ’14 and ’17, we were right on it.

“Last year, I thought it was going to be the hardest 500 for me and look what happened: we were battling to the end for a victory,” Castroneves said. “It’s not just about trying hard, it’s about being there at the right place at the right time.

“And this place, Indianapolis, I’ve always said the track winds up choosing who is going to be the winner. Hopefully, with safety and luck, we’ll be part of it and be on the right side.”

Team owner Roger Penske decided after last season to put Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya as the chief drivers of Team Penske’s new two-car effort in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship sports car series.

When the announcement was first made, many feared that Castroneves had run out of chances to get that elusive No. 4 at Indy.

But Penske sweetened the deal for Helio to go sports car racing by promising he’d field a car for him at Indy. And Penske has proven to be a man of his word, giving Castroneves everything he needs to finally win No. 4.

“I feel we’ve prepared as much as a team, we’re doing everything possible in relation to preparation,” Castroneves said. “The preparation we had in the previous year helps us tremendously to give us an opportunity fighting there for a win, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Castroneves has taken to the new style Indy car with aplomb. During the first week of practice leading up to last weekend’s qualifying, he was consistently one of the fastest drivers in the field.

The 43-year-old even topped the speed charts in the Fast Nine last Saturday before ending up eighth in the following day’s pole qualifying.

As a result, he’ll start Sunday’s race from the middle of Row 3, anchoring Team Penske’s four-man Top 8 starting lineup effort in the 500. When the green flag drops, to his left will be Danica Patrick and to his right will be four-time IndyCar champ and former 500 winner Scott Dixon.

And millions of others right behind him, so to speak.

“I feel the sense that everyone wants it to happen,” he said of winning No. 4. “We’re talking about being part of history here. The last guy to do it was Rick Mears in the ‘90s (1991).

“I mean, how cool would that be if I would be in the position and to see No. 4 in my era. I hear a lot of the fans, even those supporting different drivers, all saying ‘Man, I want to see you win No. 4.’ That just shows how special this place is.

“(The Indy 500) is part of a lot of people’s lives. I just would be very fortunate to hopefully to have this generation see someone do No. 4.”

While he’d rather not think about missing out on a fourth win at Indy for a ninth straight year, Castroneves is using reverse psychology somewhat.

He’s going into Sunday’s biggest race in the world fully believing he will finally win No. 4.

And if he does, forget the idea that he would never come back to race at Indy again.

“Not at all. Why? You’re so close to getting four, and then when you get four, you stop it? It doesn’t make sense.

“I think I still have at least four or five more years, there’s no question about it. As long as Roger (Penske) gives me the opportunity, I’m going to be going for it, for sure.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski